Like the mighty Mississippi, this never-ending trial just keeps rolling along, overwhelming everything in its path — other cases, any shred of a personal life, family vacations, you name it. It looks like both sides won’t be done putting on witnesses until sometime the week of August 22, probably Wednesday or Thursday. None of the lawyers on either side has been very good at predicting how long things take, but the judge has made it clear he wants to hold us to these dates, so maybe this time the schedule will stick. It wouldn’t be fair to say he’s losing patience, but he has indicated a couple of times — more in response to opposing counsel’s questioning than ours, I should note — that he doesn’t need to hear things more than three or four times. I can’t blame him.
So three more weeks of traveling west for trial testimony, then two weeks for each side to prepare closing briefs before the Junior Associate and I fly back for closing arguments in mid-September. Doing a brief before the closing isn’t the usual practice — just like on TV, you usually do closings right after the evidence is all in — but this isn’t a jury trial, and there’s a fair amount of law to consider in addition to the 25 years of history that both sides have presented through their witnesses and hundreds of documents since trial began in May.
We arranged weeks ago to postpone our usual August trip to the beach by a week, and today the Siren and I need to sit down with a calendar and figure out whether to postpone it again — if that’s even possible, given the schedules of the other family members who use the house — or if we should just give up on the 813-mile road trip this year and spend the limited time we’ll have between the close of the evidence and the start of school closer to home. Maybe we’ll rent a place on the Michigan shore for a week instead. I’ll have to work on the brief wherever we go, so we need reasonable internet and cell service (no camping this summer, apparently), but we need to do something and go somewhere for at least a week where the Siren, the Unfocused Kids, and I can all be together uninterrupted for a while. We’ll all be disappointed not to go to the beach together, if that’s the decision — the Siren took the kids and her mother out for a week in June, so at least they’ve been, but the August trip has been our family time since before Junior was born, and even considering letting it go feels like opening a door we had taken great pains to board up.
Meanwhile, I need to pull out the copies of Yoga for Runners and Martial Arts Over 40 that the Siren gave me a while ago. Between sitting on my tuchus all day in court, sleeping on hotel beds (“Heavenly” or otherwise), then strapping myself into a tin can for hours on end twice a week, I’m slowly twisting into a pretzel.
Signing out, once again. I’ll try to check back around Labor Day.